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NBC Olympics Selects IP Telephony from Avaya for Broadcast of 2004 Games

08-23-2004
  • New technology speeds on-site installation and protects the organization's investment in critical software

For the NBC Olympics Inc. staff members covering the 2004 Athens Games, an Avaya Internet Protocol telephony communications solution allows the team to stay in touch over a private, wide area network that links the company's headquarters in Stamford, Conn., and the International Broadcast Center and field offices in Athens.

For the NBC Olympics Inc. staff members covering the 2004 Athens Games, an Avaya Internet Protocol telephony communications solution allows the team to stay in touch over a private, wide area network that links the company's headquarters in Stamford, Conn., and the International Broadcast Center and field offices in Athens. Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV) is a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services.

Under a contract that began with NBC's broadcasts of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and includes the network's broadcasts from the Beijing Games in 2008, Avaya provides NBC Olympics with the state-of-the-art communication capabilities it needs as it travels the globe covering the Games. As part of the contract, Avaya delivers the latest technology available for each NBC Olympics broadcast. This year that means trading the broadcaster's traditional PBX communications platform for a new, streamlined Avaya Media Server that provides a cost-effective migration to a more powerful software-based IP telephony solution.

IP telephony is software-based technology that uses Voice over the Internet Protcol (VoIP) to transmit voice as data over a computer network. Businesses are adopting this rapidly emerging technology - which includes features such as call forwarding, conferencing, voice messaging and other applications - to enhance the capability of their communication network and reduce costs.

For NBC Olympics, the transition to IP telephony is fairly seamless. For Avaya, however, dramatic changes took place behind the scenes as Avaya Communication Manager, the company's flagship IP telephony software and formerly the "brains" inside the PBX, was freed from its proprietary-based hardware since NBC's broadcast at the last Olympic Games. Communication Manager is now an open, standards-based software platform that supports both IP telephony and traditional voice and drives communications over the Media Server and Gateways to NBC Olympics personnel in Athens.

"As we continue our relationship with Avaya through the Games in 2008, migrating to the new platform is a wise move," said Bob Kiraly, Director, Broadcast and Telecommunications Operations for NBC Olympics. "While we have not had time yet to fully investigate or utilize the complete potential of the new solution, it's increased features and functionally, especially in VoIP applications, will be financially and operationally beneficial in upcoming events."

As a result of deploying the new IP telephony solution, NBC Olympics has had major changes in the communications architecture for the 2004 Games. As a start, the new Avaya Media Servers and Media Gateways, along with Communication Manager, provide greater capacity and flexibility in a much smaller footprint, reducing both installation time and shipping costs.

"We were able to configure and rack-mount the server before shipping it to Greece, so when it arrived all we had to do was roll it out and hook it up," said Kiraly. "That meant a significant time savings and will make it simple to move the setup to a new location when the Games are over."

During the Games, NBC Olympics runs a network that links several locations, including its International Broadcast Center headquarters and field offices in and around Athens. As the centerpiece of the network, the Avaya Media Server feeds Communication Manager software to gateways at each site, linking them over a single data network and eliminating the need for separate communications switches. As a result, staffers and sponsors have access to the same comprehensive set of telephony capabilities regardless of where on the network they are located.

Since phone calls travel over the NBC Olympics data network, an IP connection between Athens and its headquarters in Stamford, Conn., can be used to dial colleagues, friends and family in the U.S. without incurring international toll costs.

Avaya Global Services installed the network for NBC Olympics and provides remote monitoring as well as a single point of contact for around-the-clock service and support through a dedicated project manager and team of on-site technicians. Around the globe there are more than 7,000 Avaya Global Services professionals experienced in the design, deployment, protection, maintenance and management of enterprise communications networks.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com

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